Special report on the Florida Gators lacrosse team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The NCAA Tournament returns to Gainesville as the sixth-seeded Florida lacrosse team welcomes Mercer, Jacksonville and Vanderbilt to Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
Florida will be back in the friendly confines of The Diz on Friday, taking on the Mercer Bears at 4 p.m. That game will be streamed on ESPN3 and can be heard on FloridaGators.com/watch.
Approximately 45 minutes after the matchup between the Gators and the Bears, Jacksonville will take on Vanderbilt under the lights.
The winner of each of the first round matchups will face off on Sunday at 12 p.m. for a chance to make the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Florida is riding a 13-game win streak into the NCAA Tournament, winning both the AAC regular season conference championship and the tournament championship en route to the automatic bid and one of the Top-8 seeds.
Mercer earned its way in the NCAA Tournament after upsetting both 2-seed Coastal Carolina (13-11) and 1-seed Furman (14-13) in the SoCon Tournament.
Jacksonville won the ASUN automatic qualifier, while Vanderbilt earned an at-large bid.
Gator Ticket Office | (352) 375-4683 or 800-344-2867
Students & Children: $3
Scouting the Gainesville Field:
Mercer | 7-7 overall, 2-2 Southern Conference
- The Bears earned the SoCon’s automatic bid after upsetting both 2-seed Coastal Carolina (13-11) and 1-seed Furman (14-13)
- Florida and Mercer have not faced off in program history
- Notable: This is the third-straight season the Bears have won the conference championship, leading to its previous two NCAA appearances. Mercer is 0-2 in NCAA Tournament history
- Notable: Mercer had six athletes named to the SoCon All-Conference Team (First Team – 3, Second Team – 2, All-Freshman Team – 1)
Jacksonville | 11-1 overall, 3-0 ASUN
- The Dolphins earned the ASUN’s automatic qualifier after defeating both Stetson and Liberty in the tournament
- Florida is 0-1 against Jacksonville this season
- The Gators lead the all-time series 9-1
- Home: 4-0 | Away: 5-1 | Neutral: 0-0
- Last Meeting: March 13, 2021 | Jacksonville, Fla. | L, 11-12
- Notable: This will be the seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Dolphins, with JU sitting at a 1-6 record in tournament play
- Notable: The Dolphins finished the regular season ranked 17th in the IWLCA poll
Vanderbilt | 12-6 overall, 7-3 AAC
- The Commodores earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after finishing second in the American Athletic Conference
- Florida is 2-0 against the Commodores this season
- The Gators lead the all-time series: 12-2
- Home: 7-1 | Away: 4-0 | Neutral: 1-1
- Last Meeting: April 18, 2021 | Gainesville, Fla. | W, 22-9
- Notable: This is the seventh NCAA Tournament for the Commodores and first appearance under Beth Hewitt. Vanderbilt is 2-6 in its previous six trips
- Notable: Vanderbilt had seven athletes named to the AAC All-Conference Team (First Team – 4, Second Team – 3)
Coach O’Leary’s Insight
On the excitement of getting to host the first and second rounds
- “Any time we can play at home and not travel, it is a huge deal. Our players love being at home, playing in front of the home. This is a huge bonus for us.”
#FLax vs. The Gainesville Field:
- Florida is 2-1 against the Gainesville field this season
- The Gators outscored the opponents 50-28 in the three matchups
- Shannon Kavanagh leads all Florida scorers with 16 points on 13 goals and three assists. Brianna Harris (8g, 5a) and Grace Haus (6g, 5a) added 13 and 11 points, respectively
- Kavanagh has recorded a team-high 21 draw controls, followed by 12 from Paisley Eagan
- Emma Wightman leads the way with 11 groundballs, while she and Kavanagh have each notched a team-high four caused turnovers
- In the cage, Sarah Reznick has recorded 23 saves for a .479 save percentage
- Florida is 120-5 (.960) when facing teams not ranked in the IWLCA Top-25 Poll
- The Gators own an impressive 106-19 (.848) record in the confines of Donald R. Dizney Stadium
- When scoring 14 goals, Florida is 149-2 (.987)
- Cara Trombetta is just four groundballs away from becoming the program’s all-time leader. Haley Hicklen holds the current record with 194
- Shannon Kavanagh is just one point away from tying for third all-time in Florida’s record books (Ashley Bruns – 283).
- She is also just 18 points away from becoming just the third Gator to total 300 career points
- Brianna Harris is inching closer to becoming just the 10th Gator to record 200 career points. She currently sits at 191
- Harris is also on pace to break the season record for assists (45) – currently with 37 under her belt this season
- Harris is also just nine assists away from tying for the most in program history (94)
- Streaking: Shannon Kavanagh’s streak of 45 consecutive games with a goal is the longest in program history
- Streaking: Kavanagh also has a streak of 45 consecutive games with a point – tied for the second-longest streak in program history
- Streaking: Brianna Harris has recorded a point in 38-straight games, the sixth-longest streak in program history
- Streaking: Harris has also registered an assist in 12-straight games, tied for the second-longest streak in program history with her previous streak that ended earlier this season
- Streaking: Kaitlyn Dabkowski has tallied a groundball in 13 consecutive games, tied for the sixth-longest streak in program history
Fan Policies at The Diz
- Gators lacrosse looks to maximize fan seating while maintaining social distancing
- Admission at Donald R. Dizney Stadium is free and will be capped at approximately 700 fans
- Blocks of seats at the Diz will be marked and fans attending the games will need to sit in those marked seats to ensure proper physical distancing
- In accordance with UF Health and campus guidelines, face coverings (over the nose and mouth) will be required of all guests throughout the entire game. Failure to comply with this important health guideline could result in loss of attendance privileges
- The Diz will feature new signage to help reinforce safety measures and will also feature an increased number of hand sanitizer stations
- Fans are encouraged to utilize clear bags to reduce touch points for entry gate staff